Richard M. Nixon Presidential Daily Diary, 1969-1974


Descriptive Summary

Title: Richard M. Nixon Presidential Daily Diary, 1969-1974
Dates: 1969-1974
Collection Number: 595023
Creator/Collector: General Services Administration. National Archives and Records Service. Office of Presidential Libraries. Office of Presidential Papers.
Extent: 24 linear feet, 1 linear inch; 55 boxes
Online items available
Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: The Daily Diary of files represents a consolidated record of the President’s activities. The Daily Diary chronicles the activities of the President, from the time he left the private residence until he retired for the day, including personal and private meetings, events, social and speaking engagements, trips, telephone calls, meals, routine tasks, and recreational pursuits. For any given meeting, telephone call, or event, the Daily Diary usually lists the time, location, persons involved (or a reference to an appendix listing individuals present), and type of event. This series also includes supporting materials used to compile the Daily Diary, such as the President's official weekly schedule, telephone logs, and Presidential movement logs. Files in the series also concern President Richard Nixon's visit in February 1972 to the People's Republic of China.
Language of Material: English


Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974. The Daily Diary has been digitized and is available online at:

Publication Rights

Most government records are in the public domain, however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings, that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.

Preferred Citation

Richard M. Nixon Presidential Daily Diary, 1969-1974. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Acquisition Information

These materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations.

Biography/Administrative History

On December 23, 1969, after President Nixon requested its creation, the National Archives and Records Service detailed Walter Barbash and Terry Good to the President's Appointment Office to set up the Daily Diary. It was created to serve a twofold purpose. First, as a Presidential activities log it was to provide for the immediate use of the staff a rapid retrieval of information needed in planning a balanced schedule, maximizing the use of the President's time. Secondly, it was created to provide a central storage location for "personal papers" of all staff members turned over to the National Archives for an eventual Presidential library. From December 23, 1969 to June 14, 1971, Dwight Chapin and Alexander Butterfield were responsible, respectively, for supervision of the President's Daily Diary. On June 14, 1971 the Daily Diary effort became a semi-autonomous unit within the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives (OPPA). This semi-autonomous unit, the Nixon Records Liaison Staff, had as its Staff Director Jack Nesbitt. Jack Nesbitt and his staff were responsible for: coordination with the Office of Presidential Libraries, National Archives and Records Service (GSA) on day-to-day matters relating to the future Nixon Library, and provide liaison regarding Nixon Library matters with White House Staff, EXOP Agencies, Nixon Foundation, and Republican National Committee. The Nixon Records Liaison Staff, in order to carry out its responsibilities, supervised different records management programs. The staff directed three programs, that were created in 1969 to effectively control materials destined for an eventual Nixon presidential Library. The programs: President Nixon's Diary; Reference and Card Index on Presidential Contacts; and Courtesy Storage of Papers and Reference Service on Pre-Presidential Materials. With the exception of the Reference and Card Index on Presidential Contacts, these programs continued until President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. The responsibility for the Reference and Card Index on Presidential Contacts program shifted to White House Central Files effective January 20, 1973. During 1971, other programs evolved. These programs included: exit interviews with key White House and EXOP Agency Staff; identification of White House photographs; purchase of books and periodicals; acquisition of personal papers of key Nixon Administration Officials; Nixon Library Vertical File; acquisition of Records of Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP) and Records of Republican National Committee (1960-1976); and Nixon Library Facility Planning. Records documenting these programs now comprise other file segments of the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Daily Diary files represent a consolidated record of the President's activities. Most of the information contained in these files was compiled from other sources of White House documentation, for example: movement logs - typed by the Signal Board; telephone logs - handwritten by the White House switchboard; Oval Office logs - show the President's contacts inside the Oval Office; EOB Office logs - compiled for each day the President entered the EOB office whether or not he received any visitors on that day; Military Aide's logs - show the President's activities in such locations as Key Biscayne, Camp David, and San Clemente; Alex Butterfield's Oval Office logs; Henry Kissinger's logs; Usher's logs - prepared daily and recorded activities of the First Family inside the Residence; Secret Service Shift Reports; Detailed Advance Schedules; Paul Fisher, White House Projectionist; Ron Ziegler's Press Briefing Transcripts; Pool Reports; Manolo Sanchez - valet to the President; EPS Station H-4; Mark I. Goode - Press Office Assistant to the President; and Social Office. Other sources of information for the Daily Diary included scenarios confirmed by White House Offices for various events in which the President participated, White House Photo Office contact sheets showing events not mentioned in the above sources, Central Files, newspapers, magazines, and television reports. Seven days was the normal time lag between the actual day and the staff's ability to compile, write, and deliver a completed Daily Diary. Copies of the Daily Diary were supplied to key White House people. H. R. Haldeman, Assistant to the President, Alexander P. Butterfield, Haldeman's principal deputy and Dwight L. Chapin, Appointments Secretary to the President were among those receiving copies.